The Top 25 of 2012 (A Stereogum Rebuttal)

If I’ve learned anything from surfing the Interweb, it’s that people love lists. Top ten lists, grocery lists, “best of” lists; You make a list, people are going to read it, out of curiosity if nothing else. Perhaps that’s why Stereogum decided to put out a top 25 of 2012 list… in May.

Maybe it’s just me, but May seems a little early to be deciding the year’s top albums. (Granted, it’s a ranking of what’s been released so far, but still, really?) Deciding what albums are great, and which are just okay, takes time. You have to listen to an album over and over before you get a real feel for it. Some albums just keep getting better the more you listen to them. Other albums sound great at first, then fall flat after the newness wears off. Ranking the year’s albums this early feels similar to when sportscasters make playoff predictions halfway through the season. They’re inconsequential, under-informed, and purely for the fun of speculation.

But of course I read it. As you may already have guessed, I found the list to be…lacking. I usually find Stereogum to be a good source of music, so I was a little suprised by how off this list was. Where is School Of Seven Bells’ great album Ghostory? Beach House makes the list, but Best Coast doesn’t? (Mind you, both those albums were practically newborns when this review came out, so it’s a surprise that one made the list, and the other didn’t.) No Ty Segall, no Guided By Voices, no Father John Misty? Rick Ross’s album is #8, but Odd Future, A$AP Rocky and Logic don’t make it? (They don’t make it on to MY list either, but neither does Rick Ross.)

Obviously, a list as flawed as this deserves a response. Being a lover of lists myself, I decided to give our wonderful BOMBER readers my own list of the best albums of 2012 (so far). You’ll find my list differs wildly from Stereogum’s, though we both DO agree on a few things. This list isn’t meant to diss your favorite band, or to claim that my taste is awesome. It’s just meant to give a different perspective on the year’s most quality albums thus far. Feel free to let me know in the comments which list you felt was more accurate, or give me your own top ten in response. I promise I won’t bite.

Top 25 Albums of 2012 So Far: 

25  Civil Twilight – Holy Weather

24  Guided By Voices – Let’s Go Eat The Factory

23  Death Grips – The Money Store

22  Torche – Harmonicraft 

21  M Ward – A Wasteland Companion

20  Chairlift – Something

19  Silversun Pickups – Neck Of The Woods

18  The Shins – Port Of Morrow

17  Lee Ranaldo – Between The Times And The Tides

16  Jack White – Blunderbus

15  Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

14  El-P – Cancer For Cure 

13  Screaming Females – Ugly

12  Best Coast – The Only Place / Beach House – Bloom

11  Grass Widow – Internal Logic

 10  Killer MikeKiller Mike – R.A.P. Music

          Strong album featuring great beats and above average lyrics that talk about more than killing and money.

Father John Misty 9  Father John Misty – Fear Fun

Bob Dylan singing Hunter S. Thompson stories through a Fleet Foxes blender.

Ceremony8  Ceremony – Zoo

Punk as Fuck Punk as third base.

Ty Segall/White Fence 7  Ty Segall/White Fence – Hair 

Warm and sweet like momma’s apple pie. May be knocked down a notch when Ty Segall’s Slaughterhouse arrives.

Japandroids6  Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Rarely is an album so accurately named.

Brian Jonestown Massacre

5  Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben

Anton’s sober, Hollywood is back, and Aufheben is the best BJM album in years. ‘Nuff said.

The Men

4  The Men – Open Your Heart

Harder than concrete, solid as a rock, and gets better the more you hear it.

School Of Seven Bells 3  School Of Seven Bells – Ghostory

Is it rated higher than it should be? Perhaps. Is it a great album you can rock front to back, constantly revealing new layers? Indeed. Is it one of the best albums of the year so far? Fah sho.

Deep Sea Diver

2  Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks

Seriously, how many times do I have to tell you how great this album is before you go out and buy/download it already? Get on the bandwagon now, kids, while there’s still room.

Cloud Nothings1  Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory

Stereogum and I agree about one thing, at least. This is the best album of 2012 so far. For now. Can’t see it dropping down further than #3, if at all. If you still haven’t heard it, WTF?

(Honorable mentions to Air, Civil Twilight, A$AP Rocky, Of Montreal, Heems and Kool AD, Odd Future and Lower Dens. Maybe you’ll grow on me between now and the end of the year.)



  1. Mike Joyce says:

    A few albums you missed that I think should be noted…
    1. Locked Down, by Dr. John. Pretty funky and pretty awesome, worthy of attention.
    2. I also have to say Joyce Manor’s new album “Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired” is in my top ten as well. Short, rocking, fun.
    3. Toys That Kill – Fambly 42. This album is rocking and fun and I can’t get enough of it.
    4. MewithoutYou’s “Ten Stories” Is phenomenal. Not on your list, but it should be as well. It’s great from start to finish and starting over and over again!

    I agree with you on Cloud Nothings, The Men, Ceremony, Japandroids, and thank you for suggestions throughout your list. Keep rockin and rolling! Thanks for the list!

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